Nov 04 2013

Rocking Out: World’s Oldest Surviving Song

ku-mediumNext time you’re sitting around playing name that tune with your buddies whip this one out and see if they can identify it. The “Song of Seikilos” is the oldest known song in the world. It comes from the Seikilos epitaph that was inscribed somewhere during the first century AD.

The problem I see is that all we have is the lyrics. I’m not sure how you can go from Greek lyrics to a song, but I guess they’ve done it. Apparently researchers are able to figure out the tune by using mathematical references, other songs, and I’m sure a lot of pure freaking guesswork.

Wanna see there lyrics? Here you go:

Hoson zes, phainou
Meden holos su lupou;
Pros oligon esti to zen
To telos ho chronos apaitei

Want ’em in English? Yeah me too:

While you live, shine
Have no grief at all;
Life exists only a short while
And time demands its toll

So yeah, it’s a short song. The Beetles would have had a hay day with it. Check out their songs. None of them are over two minutes long.

Hit the jump for a  couple of videos of people playing the song.

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